Finally sewing again!

So I took a break from sewing . . . a 22 day break (who’s counting ;))

But now I’m back!

ReversibleCoatAnd my first project is this reversible spring coat that I made for iCandy Handmade’s Basic Bodice Series.  You can catch the full tutorial over there!

The idea behind the Basic Bodice Series is that if you have a great bodice pattern and know how to alter the pattern or add some embellishments, the possibilities are endless in terms of what you can create.  So this coat, and all the other projects from series guests, started with a basic bodice pattern.  You probably already have one in your pattern collection.  In my tutorial I’ll show you how to alter your pattern to make a reversible coat!

They also have a linky party going on right now for all of you who want to share YOUR basic bodice creations.  So if you’ve ever used a bodice pattern to make something, link it up here and your outfit might be featured at the end of the series!

ReversibleCoat1I still can’t believe I cut into my Nani Iro Metallic Pocho for this coat.  This stuff is GORGEOUS (and not cheap)!  But it feels good to just go for it sometimes, and I think it paid off this time.  Yuki looks pretty darn cute in her fancy coat 🙂  And I wish you could see the subtle shimmer of these dots!  Man, it’s beautiful.  I really think the next time I sew with Nani Iro, I need to make something for me!

Anyways, it feels good to be back at the machine.  I’ve got lots of fun things coming up, so it’s time for me to get busy!

But for today, please hop on over to iCandy handmade to check out my tutorial and say hi!

Thanks 🙂

Guest Post: Flashback Friday

So now that I’m back to blogging, the first thing I wanted to share with you was that I was a guest over at Sew Much Ado last Friday for her super fun series, Flashback Friday!

In this series, Abby invites guests to take a look back and share stories from their past either about how they started sewing, maybe a cherished family heirloom, relative who inspired them to sew, or even an epic sewing fail from the past.

So if you want to hear my story, see a pictures of Princess Cherie or my high school prom pic, plus some of my first few dresses I made for Yuki, go on over to Sew Much Ado.  I personally love reading these posts and can’t wait to hear more stories from my favorite bloggers in weeks to come.

Later this week I hope to share some handmade gifts and a dress that’d be perfect for the holidays, if you’re still looking for some last minute sewing inspiration 🙂

Maggie Mae Tunic and a GIVEAWAY!

I’m really excited to be the next stop on the Very Go To Christmas pattern tour!  Go To Patterns really is the place to go if you’re looking for fun and classic patterns.  They carry patterns for everything from clothing and gift bags to quilts and stuffed animals from a variety of great designers.  Andrea is the mastermind behind the pattern shop and the blog, The Train to Crazy, and she’s created a really amazing collection of must-have patterns.  It’s definitely worth checking out.

maggiemae1I chose the Maggie Mae Tunic by Shwin & Shwin to review because it’s been on my to do list for a very long time.  I actually purchased this pattern before KCWC in the fall, but never got around to making it until now.  I wish I hadn’t waited though because I. Love. This. Tunic. maggiemae5I just think it’s adorable and I’ve thought so since I first saw the pattern come out.  I love the colorblocking, the curved pieced bodice, the little cap sleeves, the pleats – I love how stylish it is, but still so appropriate for kids (Shwin & Shwin has a knack for designing kids patterns that balance style and practicality). And it really can be made for any occasion – from casual playwear to special occasion – depending on the fabric you choose.  I used this gorgeous Kaffe Fasset woven ikat and shot cotton that I picked up at Stonemountain & Daughter in Berkeley. sneakpeek maggiemae3 The Maggie Mae can be made as a tunic or a dress (the version I made is the tunic) and comes with inseam pockets and buttons in the back. maggiemae4 This project is a good intermediate beginner pattern.  The construction is fairly simple even with the curved bodice piecing.  You’ll have to do some pleating and of course buttonholes, but if are comfortable with those things, you can sew one of these up in a snap. Despite that, this project was a little bit of a nightmare for me to sew up (at no fault of the pattern – purely my own stupidity).  I just wanted to share the story with you so you know that I have really bad sewing days too.  Because this pattern is pretty simple, I was excited to get it done quickly.  Well I was finishing an edge with my serger, which I’m still learning how to use, when a corner of the bodice was gobbled up into the serger with the slicing blade on, so SNIP!  Off goes a small corner of the bodice. 😦 Then, it literally took me forever to get my pleats looking good – centered, evenly sized and spaced.  Unfortunately, there are no pleat markings on the pattern, so you have to figure it out yourself and I don’t know why it took me so long – but I must have pleated, pinned, basted and torn them out 5 times before I got it just right. When I was just about done, I accidentally hemmed the tunic up in a thread that stood out a lot more than I expected and I didn’t like it.  As I was tearing the hem out with a seam ripper to do over, I tore a small hole in the front of the dress at the hem line.  WTF – is this project trying to kill me!?  Have you ever had a project like that?  Where everything goes wrong?  And to top it all off, I had meant to make this a dress and didn’t realize until I put it on my daughter and her booty was hanging out the bottom that I had used the tunic measurements instead!!!  Haha, seriously, I was having issues that day.  BUT, despite all that, I still looooooove the way it came out.  So all of that to say, even if you’re a complete knuckle head like me, you can still make this adorable top/dress (just make sure you’re reading the appropriate measurements off the chart depending on whether you want to make a skirt or a tunic). maggiemae6 I made the size 2T for my 2 year old and it fits her pretty well.  The only thing that I would change if I make it again (and I’m sure I will), is to lengthen the top bodice piece just a little bit to make the armhole a little roomier.  It fits her just perfectly, if not a little snug there.  Otherwise, the sizing seemed just right. maggiemae2 I love that there are sooooooo many possibilities with this dress depending on what coordinating fabrics you choose.  I’m already dreaming up combinations for the next one.  What colors/prints would you choose? Well lucky for you, you have a chance to win an amazing giveaway prize and trust me, you’re gonna want to win this. {CLOSED}

Enter to win a shopping spree at GoToPatterns.com and Sew Fine Fabric!

Go To Patterns PDF sewing patterns 

THREE WINNERS!

Go To Patterns sewing pattern giveaway

Click here to enter the giveaway via Rafflecopter!

Go check out the rest of the Very Go To Christmas posts here:

Handmade Therapy Nov. 29th a pretty cool life. Nov 29th Sew Much Ado Nov. 30th Simple Simon and Co Dec. 1st One Little Minute Dec. 1st The Cottage Home Dec. 2nd Sew country chick Dec. 2nd Nap Time Crafters Dec. 3rd A Little Gray Dec. 3rd skirt as top Dec. 4th you & mie Dec. 5th Boy, Oh Boy, Oh Boy! Dec. 5th Me Sew crazy Dec. 6th see kate sew Dec. 6th Delia Creates Dec. 7th

And what Yuki photoshoot could be complete without one of these pics!?

maggiemae_peek2

Haha – I love this kid.  I hope you’re all enjoying getting ready for the holidays.  Please go check out Go To Patterns – I’m pretty sure you’ll find so many things you love.  And be sure to enter the Washi Giveaway here (ends Friday, December 7th at 5pm PST).

Thanks, as always, for stopping by and I hope you’re all having a great week 🙂

Knock it off!

Have you been following along the awesome Knock It Off series hosted by Heidi of Elegance & Elephants?  She’s got a whole month’s worth of guests sharing tutorials for great knock off projects inspired by store bought clothes and accessories.  Who doesn’t love a good knock off?  As people who sew clothes, we are constantly looking at items online, in the store and on people on the street thinking, “I bet I could make that” and figuring out exactly how to recreate the look for less money.

Well today I’m over at Elegance & Elephants sharing a tutorial for a quilted jacket inspired by this Mini Boden jacket.  And I’m reeeeally excited about this project!

I love it because it’s practical but super cute and once you learn how to construct the jacket, you can change it up and infuse your own style (something that store bought items often lack).  The pattern itself is unisex and it’s reversible!!  Whaaat!?  I know, it’s crazy.

So pop on over to Elegance & Elephants to see the full tutorial.  While you’re over there check out the rest of the knock off projects – they are fantastic!  And if you use this tutorial (or any you & mie tutorial), remember to add your photos to the flickr group because I really love seeing your creations!

Oh and quick shout out and thank you to Kristin who helped me pick this project out of the millions of knock off ideas I had floating in my mind.  She rocks.

film petit: fantastic mr. fox

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I’m so thrilled to be a part of film petit this month, a ridiculously awesome series hosted by Kristin from skirt as top and Jessica from A Little Gray.  For the series, Kristin, Jessica and a guest choose a favorite movie to use as inspiration for original children’s wear.

These ladies have fantastic taste in movies and incredible vision and sewing skills, so if you haven’t checked out the first two installments, A Life Aquatic and Amelie, check them out here and here.

When we were discussing movies for this month’s film petit, we were all drawn to several Wes Anderson titles (really, which Anderson film aren’t we inspired by??).  But we couldn’t deny how perfect Fantastic Mr. Fox would be for this season.  Not only is it a witty, well made, hilarious movie, but we loved the warm, rich, golden tones of the film, the amazing world of fantastic creatures, the apples, the farms, the fields – all of it, just screams AUTUMN!

The movie is about Mr. Fox, a reformed squab thief who has left his wild days behind for a life of domesticity when his wife, Felicity, announces that she is pregnant.  After living a responsible life as husband and father for 12 fox years, Mr. Fox finds himself wanting to provide more for his family and buys a gorgeous tree home despite how dangerous the location was for a family of foxes.

Life in their new home may not be as satisfying as Mr. Fox had hoped for and he finds himself restless and craving adventure again.  He cannot resist the temptation of a few nearby farms belonging to Boggis, Bunce and Bean, full of poultry and cider for the taking, and quickly dives back into the world he promised his wife he had left behind.

This movie is FILLED with amazing characters.  Though the title character is certainly fantastic, he shares the spotlight with a huge cast of hilarious creatures.

I feel like I could talk about all these characters and the movie for a long looong time, but this is already getting long and I haven’t even talked about my outfit yet!  Between Kristin, Jessica and me, we had so many ideas inspired by the movie that we could have easily outfitted a small fox army.

But what I was most inspired by was the gorgeous setting of this film.  The opening scenes of the movie show golden rolling hills and fields and the warmest yellow, orange and gold skies and fields.  I wanted to try and capture that feeling in my outfit.

I love the Felicity Fox character, and as one of the only females in the film, she has to represent.  She’s a pretty kick ass lady and definitely the “brains behind the brains” as they call her.  She’s an artist, a landscape painter obsessed with painting dark and stormy thunderstorms, and also a strong wife and mother.

(some of Felicity’s paintings)

The opening scenes of the movie show a younger Felicity Fox, still the calm, patient and rational Mrs. Fox, but with a slightly more free spirited artist look.

I decided to try and capture these looks into a dress.

I used the Charlie Tunic pattern by Rae (thanks for the idea, Kristin!), which has that awesome neck facing and bohemian vibe.

Of course, I had to include the iconic tree that catapulted Mr. Fox back into the crazy life of crime and became the battlefield between the animals and the farmers.  So I appliqued it onto the dress, and it added a nice pop of color.

The main fabric for the dress is a linen/cotton fabric in a light brownish gray, which was a nod to Mrs. Fox’s gray stormy paintings, but without making the dress too dark.  I pieced together some golden yellow fabrics to try to recreate the gorgeous hills from the movie (the striped fabric is hand painted).

I lengthened the tunic ever so slightly (though I realize now that it needs another couple of inches) and I added pockets.  My little sneaky fox LOVES filling her pockets with as many rocks as she can find.  This tunic pattern is really great (like all of Rae’s patterns), so definitely check it out if you’re interested.

So that’s my clothing interpretation of this fantastic film, and seriously, I have ideas for a few more outfits still!  You absolutely MUST go and check out the most awesome shirt of the most awesome game EVER on A Little Gray and the ridiculously cute, straight-out-of-the-movie PERFECT Mr. and Mrs. Fox outfits on skirt as top.

But before you go, I just wanted to take a minute to tell you how amazingly awesome Kristin and Jessica are.  Not only are they amazing artists and sewists, with the most brilliant visions and ideas and MAD skills, but they are sooo much fun to work with, hilarious, humble, and extremely helpful, encouraging and sweet.  If you aren’t already following these gals, you absolutely must do it now.  Everything they touch turns to gold – they are definitely ones to keep your eye on.  And since I’ve been lucky enough to be a part of some film petit conversations recently, I happen to know that there will be a lot of AMAZING stuff coming up over the coming months that you will not want to miss!  I truly wish I could be a part of film petit every month!  So a huge thank you to Kristin and Jessica for letting me be a part of this series and being such awesome friends!

No go check out their awesome work and be in awe of their fantastic-ness and happy autumn to you all!

A Handmade Costume at The Train to Crazy

Oy, the first cold of the season has hit our household already.  Between that, craziness at work, and personal projects up the wazoo, blogging is being held up again.  But today I’m sharing a project that not only isn’t old, but is actually early!  I’m guest posting for The Train To Crazy’s Handmade Costume series in preparation for Halloween!

I LOVE Halloween and I love making costumes.  Unfortunately, Yuki does not like wearing them.  She’s old enough now to fight back and take things off if she doesn’t like it.  So this costume wasn’t a win for us – but maybe it will be for your little one?  At least it was super simple, was made from materials I already had at home, and was really fun to make!  Presenting . . .

So head on over to The Train to Crazy to see the full tutorial.  And if you click on the button below, it’ll take you to the series page where there are links to all of the projects that have been shared so far.  The series goes on for another month, so if you’re looking for Halloween costume inspiration, be sure to check back often!

Thanks for checking in and have a great weekend!

My Best Friend at Sew Together

Hello!  I took an unexpected break from the blog and sewing (I haven’t sewed a stitch in over two weeks – yikes)!  It’s officially back to school time over here and that is one of the busiest times of the year for me.  I’m itching to get back to sewing and blogging (I have sooo many projects lined up), but it might be another week or so before I get my head back above water.  How about you?  Is this a crazy time of the year?

But I did want to tell you about a series that is going on right now on the Sew Together blog.  Caroline and Maryanne have invited some bloggers to share about their best sewing friend – “a pattern, a tool, a technique, a blog, a hint or a person who inspires you to sew.”

Head over there to get a peek at my sewing/crafting space and find out what I consider to be my best sewing friends . . . I certainly couldn’t do it without them!!

While you’re over there, you should also check out the guests they’ve already had and continue checking back over the next couple of weeks for some fantastic bloggers sharing about their best friends every few days.

I also just wanted to take a moment to thank all of you readers for always supporting me and giving me inspiration!  You make blogging so much fun!  I’ll be back as soon as possible to share some fun stuff I’ve been working on and some of the things I’ve got on my to do list.  Thanks for stopping by!  Happy sewing!

Shorts on the Line!

It’s week three of the Shorts on the Line series!  Aren’t shorts the perfect summer staple for everyone’s wardrobe?  They’ve had some fantastic inspiration, tutorials and pattern reviews for boys, girls and women’s shorts over the last 2 weeks.  Check out the week 1 and week 2 recaps.

Today I’m doing a pattern review for Figgy’s Banyan shorts over on Designs by Sessa!

I like how these classic shorts turned out and will definitely make more (and the pants version too)!  It’s awesome the pattern fits up to size 8/9, so this pattern will last me a loooong time.  And you know I love me a unisex pattern!  Go check out all the deets here.

Guest Post for Sum Sum Summertime!

Another summery post for you, today at this heArt of mine.  Amy is hosting a fun summer series with everything from food and fashion to gift ideas and artwork.

I’m sharing a really simple and fast summery accessory.  It’s a rectangle vest with a twist!

It can be worn as a vest, a wrap, a bathing suit cover-up, etc. – it’s quite versatile!

So hop on over to this heArt of mine for the short and sweet tutorial.

(Told you we’d be doing a bit of blog hopping this month.  Hope you stick with me through all the traveling :))

Guest Post for Color Your Summer II

Oooh, another guest post and today, it’s for Color Your Summer II, a series I LOVE and on one of my favorite blogs ever, Delia Creates. I feel very lucky to be a part of this fun series.

Today I’m sharing a foldable quilted picnic blanket that just screams, “SUMMER!”

Check out the full tutorial on Delia Creates and while you’re at it, you should take a look at all the colorful projects on both her site and at Kojo Designs.

Hope you have a colorful and sunny weekend!